clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What's Your Deal, Virginia Tech?

Virginia Tech running back/return man David Wilson's deal is speed.
Virginia Tech running back/return man David Wilson's deal is speed.
Wherein I profile some of Virginia Tech's key players in advance of next week's Orange Bowl. Coming later this week: matchup previews, featuring these and other key players who could make a difference in Miami.

What's Tyrod Taylor's deal?

Taylor is kind of a big deal, so he merits the longest description. Virginia Tech's senior quarterback earned ACC Player of the Year honors after posting career-highs in passing touchdowns (23), completion percentage (60.6), and pass efficiency rating (159.04). Taylor was hardly to blame for the Hokies' early-season losses to Boise State and James Madison, despite a second half interception against the Dukes, and got better as Virginia Tech's 11-game winning streak to end the year wore on. He was especially impressive in the ACC Championship Game. Taylor has thrown only four interceptions this season and only one in Virginia Tech's last eight games. He is a dual-threat quarterback, something Stanford hasn't seen since its loss to Oregon. While he hasn't topped 57 yards in a game since he rushed for 127 against Central Michigan on October 9, Taylor is Virginia Tech's second-leading rusher and is averaging 49 yards per game. Given the success that Darron Thomas had against the Cardinal, it will be interesting to see if offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring works a few more designed runs for Taylor into the gameplan. As Jim Harbaugh said, Taylor is a "scary, scary guy when you're the opposing coach." Read more about Taylor here.

What's Darren Evans' deal?

Evans, who missed all of last season with a knee injury after rushing for 1,265 yards in 2008, returned to the field as part of Virginia Tech's three-headed running back monster and led the Hokies with 817 rushing yards. Splitting carries with Ryan Williams, who rushed for 1,655 yards as Evans' replacement last year, and sophomore David Wilson, Evans averaged 5.9 yards per rush during the regular season and scored a team-high 11 touchdowns. Evans and Williams are both considering their NFL draft options and could be looking to make a final statement in the Orange Bowl. Evans, who has 100 receiving yards, needs 87 yards against Stanford to top 1,000 total yards for the year. Williams, who sees himself as a first- or second-round pick, missed four games this season with a hamstring injury, but is back to full strength.

What's David Wilson's deal?

The speediest of Virginia Tech's three main tailbacks, Wilson rushed for 616 yards on 111 carries. Seven of his 13 catches this season came in the Hokies' last two games, and two of those went for touchdowns. While Wilson is a proven threat on offense, he is even more dangerous as a return man. Wilson averaged 26.5 yards per kickoff return and took two to the house. His 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Gerogia Tech with less than 3 minutes remaining was one of the biggest plays of the Hokies' season.

What's Danny Coale's deal?

Coale is one of Taylor's favorite receiving targets and averaged 20 yards per catch, seventh-best in the nation. Coale struggled early in the season and had only eight catches through the Hokies' first six games. The redshirt junior has 24 catches in Virginia Tech's last seven games, including six for 143 yards and a touchdown against the Seminoles.

What's Jayron Hosley's deal?

The Hokies' defense has been a work in progress, but the secondary is unquestionably one of its strengths. Hosley, an All-America in his first year as a starter, has a team-best eight of the Hokies' 22 interceptions. Hosley's breakout performance has overshadowed the brilliant season of senior safety Davon Morgan, who has five interceptions in his last eight games.

What's Bruce Taylor's deal?

Things are looking up for Bud Foster's young defensive unit in 2011, in large part because of Taylor. In his first season as a starter, Taylor has more than ably filled the shoes of the injured Barquell Williams and leads the Hokies with 84 tackles. The redshirt sophomore has 15.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. Taylor is the leader of a linebacking corps that will be shuffled for the Orange Bowl after Lyndell Gibson went down with a shoulder injury against Florida State.

What's Steven Friday's deal?

Another first-year starter, the redshirt senior defensive end leads the Hokies with 8.5 sacks. Friday, who also has 15 tackles for loss, will have his hands full with a Stanford offensive line that has only allowed five sacks this season.